Laying down pipelines: how the Continuous Delivery Foundation is working to simplify DevOps and CI/CD

Implementing CI/CD can be a monumental task when it comes to implementing a strategy and selecting tools. The Continuous Delivery Foundation is looking to make that whole process a little easier.

The adoption of new software development practices pertaining to DevOps and Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) can muster a plethora of advantages for organisations. Breaking down silos between developers and operations, while instilling a more cohesive software delivery environment throughout the entire business has a lot of tangible benefits, not the least of which is massively shortening release cycles, thus improving customer satisfaction and ultimately facilitating improved product metrics.

However, for all the buzz around the more agile and incremental ways of developing and delivering applications, widespread adoption and maturity of these practices is still quite low, and this is despite proponents positioning DevOps and CI/CD as the de facto evolution for software development. 

Looking at the latest 'State of Agile Report', continuous integration was the third highest cited agile practice (with 53% of organisations indicated they had implemented some for CI), while continuous delivery was fifth (with 40%). Meanwhile, 73% of respondents stated that they either currently have, or are planning to have, a DevOps initiative in their organisation. Those numbers may look impressive, although there is an issue with ascertaining the depth of this adoption.

An organisation may indicate that they are working towards building a CI/CD pipeline, or DevOps culture, but in reality, they have just employed one or two of the applicable tools. This idea is supported when looking at Codefresh's DevOps survey, which reported that while a third of companies had automated more than half of their workloads, only 1% were all the way there.

The truth is, adopting CI/CD and forging a DevOps team, is not an easy task, especially for more traditional organisations that may me moving from a waterfall-centric development strategy. Adoption of these newer methodologies requires widespread business changes, and even organisations like ING have faltered in their adoption journeys for not being able to appreciate this fact.

In addition to this, the ecosystem of tooling is vast and at times awfully complicated, with many tools doing essentially the same thing. This is something that the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF)—a vendor-neutral ‘home' of some core CD projects—is aiming to address. As an offshoot of the Linux Foundation, CDF's mission is to drive the adoption of continuous delivery practices by providing guidance over the tools, technology, and processes that drive it. It has a varied range of member organisations, including Cloudbees, Google, Huawei, IBM, Netflix, and Salesforce (amongst others), with a board made up of individuals representing its various members.

Too many players in the game

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